Ben Twist, Director
Ben has been Director of Creative Carbon Scotland since 2011, combining over 25 years’ experience of producing events and running permanent and temporary venues in the cultural sector with an MSc in Carbon Management and a doctorate in applying complexity theory to social systems in order to bring about more sustainable social practices. He has developed CCS into a leader in both technical support for cultural organisations in carbon management and developing culture’s influencing role in addressing climate change. He has accordingly been asked to speak about this work to groups from Salzburg Global in Austria via the ArtCOP Professional workshop in Paris to the Glasgow Life Green Team Awards and the Sustainable Scotland Network annual conference.
As a theatre director and producer he was the Associate Director at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh and Artistic Director at Manchester’s Contact Theatre. He ‘revisioned’ Contact to bring it into the 21st century and he led the restructuring of North Edinburgh Arts to bring it out of a financial crisis: both are now thriving organisations. As Chair of the Scottish Arts Council Lottery Committee he facilitated and supported organisational change with many cultural organisations and led the distribution of over £150m of National Lottery funds, mostly to capital projects. He has directed theatre and music theatre as a freelance across the UK, Europe, North America and New Zealand. He has been Chair of Scotland’s leading contemporary classical music group Hebrides Ensemble and Vice-Chair of the Theatres Trust and the Edinburgh Sustainable Development Partnership.
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Dr Fiona MacLennan, Carbon Reduction Project Manager
Fiona joined Creative Carbon Scotland in March 2014 as an experienced project manager and engineer with recent involvement in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency. She has been working with arts organisations all over Scotland, running workshops and meetings from Shetlands to the Borders to help Green Champions to record the emissions impacts of their activities.
Using data gathered from Creative Scotland’s group of Regular Funded Organisations she is continuing to develop a detailed picture of the carbon profile of the performing arts in Scotland. With the cooperation of many organisations she has used this knowledge to develop resources, including claimexpenses.com, to support artists and arts organisations to identify and achieve carbon emissions reductions and realise their sustainability ambitions.
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Gemma Lawrence, Culture/SHIFT Producer
Gemma has a background in Sustainable Development and Art History, specialising in contemporary participatory practices at the University of St Andrews in her undergraduate degree. Since 2012 she has managed and produced a range of projects focused on the development of artistic practices in Scotland in relation to environmental sustainability. Current projects include CCS’s Annual Arts & Sustainability Residency and Green Tease, a regular Scotland-wide events programme that builds links between the arts and sustainability sectors through the exchange of ideas, knowledge and practices. Gemma drives CCS’s culture/SHIFT programme to develop the active role of Scotland’s arts sector in the transition to an environmentally sustainable society. Her experience includes participation in the European arts and sustainability network, the Green Art Lab Alliance, acting as community-lead on the AHRC-funded Fields of Green research project with academic partners from across Scotland and England, and as Producer of ArtCOP Scotland, a season of artistic responses to the Paris Climate Summit (COP21).
In addition to her work with CCS, Gemma recently participated in Curatorial Studio, a 10-month peer-learning programme for the development of curatorial practices in Scotland supported by SCAN.
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Catriona Patterson, Green Arts Project Manager
With an interdisciplinary background, and experience in private, public and third sector sustainability policy and practice, Catriona focuses on the knowledge dissemination and wider engagement element of how the cultural sector can contribute towards a more sustainable Scotland. Catriona manages Creative Carbon Scotland’s ‘Green Arts Initiative’: a networked community of practice for Scottish cultural organisations committed to reducing their environmental impact. Now with around 200 members in Scotland alone, she hosts annual conferences, creates tailored resources, and supports the upskilling of the arts sector.
Catriona is also the Project Manager for Cultural Adaptations, a Creative Europe co-operation project across Scotland, Ireland, Belgium and Sweden. Running from October 2018 to March 2021, the project seeks to explore culture’s role in society’s adaptation to the impacts of climate change, and the adaptation issues which will effect cultural organisations.
She also provides strategic support to Festivals Edinburgh (the umbrella organisation for Edinburgh’s major cultural events), embedding environmental sustainability and exploring collaborative innovation across world-leading festivals.
Catriona is a trustee of the 2050 Climate Group (a charity focused on engaging Scottish young professionals in climate change issues), equipping her with a continually expanding national and international context, and allowing her to create innovative responses to the global interest in our unique approach to sustainability.
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Alexis Woolley, General Manager
Alexis joined Creative Carbon Scotland in May 2016. As well as her skills in planning and setting up effective work practices, Alexis brings to the organisation her 25 years of experience in developing and implementing public sector strategies and policies ranging from the European Union to sustainable development. Of particular benefit for Creative Carbon Scotland’s future plans are her knowledge of successful EU funding applications and performance assessment frameworks and reporting mechanisms for strategic sustainability activity.
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Mike Elm, Digital Communications Officer
Mike Elm joined Creative Carbon Scotland in August 2017. Mike has a background in International Relations. He works on ensuring that Creative Carbon’s work is known about by everyone who wants or needs to know about it.
Prior to joining Creative Carbon he was Project Officer for the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital, working to use the concept of natural capital to translate the value of nature to decision makers from government, business and charities and create better outcomes for the economy and the environment. Mike is one of the founders and board members of the 2050 Climate Group which aims to lead a social movement by engaging, educating and empowering Scotland’s Future Leaders to take action on climate change and he was shortlisted for WWF Earth Hour Hero 2017. He also sits on the board of the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, which has worked since the 1980s to promote Peace and non-violence across Edinburgh and Scotland.
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